I’ve lived in three different states in the past six years. That’s quite a bit of moving for a non-military family. As you can imagine, I’ve had plenty of friends come and go. But, my true friends and I will always be in touch. We try to get together at least once a year. That means that once a year, there’s a good chance I’m going to be hosting something in a place away from home. This might not happen frequently for you; maybe you and everyone you know live in one place, and it’s easy to gather at your home whenever you want. But there are still plenty of occasions to get out of the house, whether it’s to a restaurant or a rental house. When that’s the case, things can get…interesting.
Check out your Home Away from Home
I mean, check it out BEFORE you go shopping. This is pretty crucial. I’m going to use an example from when a bunch of friends and I stayed in the Smoky Mountains. Our first night I planned on having a big southern meal cooked up for everyone. They were all coming from much further away, so it made sense for me to get there first and be prepared. The problem was the house was really up in the mountains. We didn’t want to get up there, then have to come back down and go shopping, so we tried to do it all beforehand. It was not the best choice. We wound up missing all kinds of tools we thought the house would have, as well as a few crucial ingredients.
Luckily, in that case all our friends were arriving at various times, so we were able to send all of them to the store throughout the day before they headed up the mountain. It would have been a better idea for me to go first, see what we needed, then go shopping. Or, we could have had my husband stay down off the mountain until I could tell him what we needed. One other note about shopping – you’re obviously going to want the smallest size things you can get, since you’re either going to throw it away or have to drag it home. So practice your recipes! Don’t waste what little you’ve got on a practice try.
You don’t know the kitchen
Remember this. I know in theory everything should cook the same, but we all know ovens are tricky. Things might take longer to cook than they do at your house – or they might burn! Elevation can change cooking times as well. Don’t stress about this , just remember you’re going to be even more frenzied than usual as you get to know your surroundings. If you’re really worried about elevation, you can check out this article for some help. As for oven times, you can always open it up and take a look.
Decorations mean cleanup
If you’re going to be decorating this joint, remember that you’re also responsible for cleaning it, and it will have to be done right away. You can’t leave it for a week like you could at your own house. I personally skip decorating, but a few signs might go a long way. If you have a couple of small chalkboards lying around, it wouldn’t take long to scribble something out. Plus it’ll be just as fast to load them up as it was to bring them out. No tape or tacks required!
Things will definitely be different when you host away from home, but it can still be really fun. I hope one day you get to try it!